The first time this happened was when I was younger. Somebody did something, and I just got so mad that I hit him. Since I’ve gotten older, I’ve done this a time or two. I don’t beat the crap out of anyone! But I do hurt and hit them. When I realize that I’ve hit someone again, I just walk away because I can’t believe I let myself get that angry! Most of the time I stay away from things that make me upset, and that works. But I still want to know: why do I get so mad? It doesn’t happen all the time, just every once in a while.
What can I do to stop it? I don’t want to hurt people ever! But it’s like they know everything that pisses me off and that’s what they want.
You appear to be a classic candidate for anger-management therapy, which is cognitive-behavioral therapy targeted toward regulating emotions (especially negative and angry emotions) and controlling aggressive impulses. The therapy works in a number of ways. It helps you re-direct the perceived “locus of control.” Instead of thinking that people do things that “piss [you] off,” it re-directs your awareness to your internal dialog and what you say to yourself to get yourself worked up. It also helps you become more aware of the step-by-step escalation process (called a behavior chain) that causes you to lose control over your impulses and to solidify better coping skills. Merely avoiding potentially anger-evoking circumstances only reinforces the erroneous notion that the situations — as opposed to you — are in “control” of your responses.
So, take heart. If you really want to learn how to manage your anger and aggression, seek out a counselor who specializes in state-of-the-art cognitive-behaviorally-based anger management and aggression-replacement therapies.
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All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. Originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and last reviewed or updated by